Jimmy Wales: Knol isn’t a Wikipedia Competitor | Press Releases | DW | 05.02.2009
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Press Releases

Jimmy Wales: Knol isn’t a Wikipedia Competitor

In an interview with Deutsche Welle, the Wikipedia founder talks about why Google's Knol is not a competitor and why Jimmy Carter is Internet savvy.


Deutsche Welle recently interviewed Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, who stated that he doesn’t see Google’s Knol as competition. “I don't think Knol is a competitor at all. I think Knol is nothing like Wikipedia and doesn't have the potential to become anything like Wikipedia.”

Wales went on to say that the platform itself makes the difference. “They have no editorial structure the way that we do to push for quality so it's mostly going to be possibly quite interesting as a platform, but it's not competing with Wikipedia.”

When asked about the new administration in the United States, Wales stated that he had no desire to take on a government position, but was impressed by the new president and his team. “Recently I had a phone call with the Obama transition team and I was just super happy after that,” said Wales. “They at least know I exist. And they sort of reached out to me because they wanted to talk about the website just to get some basic advice and ask if I had any ideas for them. That's impressive to me. I don't think anybody in the last administration ever knew I existed.”

And what about the former presidents? “Jimmy Carter knows everything about Wikipedia, he uses it all the time, he understands how it is edited, an amazing guy. But that's Jimmy Carter, he's a really unique person,” said Wales. “I doubt if George Bush knows anything about the internet at all.”

Jimmy Wales founded Wikipedia in 2001 and now is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation. He is also a founder of the commercial Wikia company and was called one of the world's most influential people by Time in 2006.

February 5, 2009

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